by Yay Dude Life Coach Julie Reising
Stress…everybody experiences it, and, unfortunately for some, it can be a chronic condition. In a recent poll, The American Psychological Association described Americans as being under “alarming levels” of stress. This was due to factors such as the Covid pandemic, war in the Ukraine, and inflation. Add in the “everyday” stressors like job pressures, a lack of work-life balance and a general sense of “not enough minutes in the day” and it can all feel overwhelming. All of this begs the question: what can we do to manage stress??
Following, one way to manage stress is to alleviate (or significantly reduce) our exposure to the stressor. Finding a new job that’s a better fit than the old, more stressful environment is one example of this strategy. However, when we’re hit with stressors outside our control, there’s a different approach. That’s where shifting our mindset comes in.
Shifting your mindset entails inventorying thoughts, beliefs and feelings about a stressful situation/event in order to shift them toward a more desired state of being. As a Mindset and Empowerment Life Coach, I teach my clients (and use it for myself) to practice shifting their mindset using these steps:
- Acknowledge and honor all thoughts and feelings associated with the stressor without judgment (it can be helpful to write/type or speak these aloud, even if it’s just into an app on your phone).
- Identify the thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you stuck in the stressed out feelings.
- Ask: how do I want to feel (be) in this situation? Be as specific as possible (simply wanting to be “not stressed” isn’t specific enough; “I want to feel peaceful” is better).
- The final step is to identify thoughts and actions that support the shift from stressed out to whatever feeling is more desirable . “I hate this and I’ll never be able to do it right” to “I don’t know how to do this yet, but I can figure this out”, for example, can help us shift from feeling hopeless and helpless to feeling capable.
Warning: I often see people go overboard and instead of a transformative mindset shift, they employ what is known as toxic positivity. Toxic positivity seeks to shut down our (or others’) thoughts and feelings about stressful situations. It sends a dangerous message that we should never feel bad or sad. Toxic positivity is neither helpful nor effective. It is in the most
egregious applications it marginalizes the stressed person’s feelings and can even lead to victim-blaming. Practicing shifting one’s mindset, on the other hand, meets the stressed person where they are and also offers a path toward getting them to where they want to be.
As I mentioned earlier, I help my clients practice this strategy for stress management. While we can’t expect miraculous results on the first try, over time this strategy has proven very effective for me and for my clients. It helps to develop resilience in the face of all types of stressors.
Break free and shift your mindset away from stress & contact Julie Reising at JULIE@JULIEREISING.COM for your FREE rediscovery call!